It's no secret that disagreements and fights can happen in even the healthiest of friendships and if you've ever gotten into a major argument with a close friend, you're well aware of how painful and difficult the situation can be. In an ideal world, you and your friend would apologize and move forward together, but sometimes the situation is more complicated than that and you might even find yourselves not talking for an extended period of time.
If you and a friend have a falling out, it's up to both of you to bring your relationship back to a healthy place again. But if you try to make up without success, what happens next? Is your friendship over?
The short answer is no. You can always work towards healing a relationship if you want to. Although it can feel impossible, there are steps you can take to resolve your issues and come to an understanding regarding the cause of a conflict (even if your friend needs some space). Keep reading for a few things you can do if you're in a fight with a friend and they're not speaking to you.
Re-examine the Friendship and Your Own Actions
When someone you consider a close friend refuses to make up with you, it may be time to take a step back and look at the relationship as a whole in order to gain some perspective. This can help you understand whether or not the friendship is worth fighting for. To do this, you can ask yourself questions like, "Do my friend and I have a history of arguing with each other," "Have recent events changed our relationships," "Have I acknowledged my friend's accomplishments," and "Do I think my time is more important than my friends?" If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps your friendship was heading for conflict and you didn't notice it before.
Additionally, when examining your friendship, it's important to take a look at your own actions. Check in with yourself and think about whether or not you've been taking your friend for granted, treating them as you should, or offering the support that they need. Sometimes people go through a rough period of time, and if friends can't adapt to the changes, the relationship may be affected. That's why it's helpful to reflect not only on your friend's actions but on your own as well.
Let Your Friend Know How Much You Care
You may assume that your friend knows you care, but sometimes people need to hear it loud and clear. If your friend is pulling away from you and refusing to make up, let them know how much they mean to you. You can tell them how you feel in person or you might consider writing your thoughts down on paper. If you're not sure where to start, try saying or writing something like, "I haven't told you in a while, but I really care about you," "You are an important person in my life," or "Your friendship means a lot to me." If you send your friend a letter or email, be sure to include a suggestion to meet up and work through your problems together in person.
Give Your Friend an Open Invitation to Talk
After you have tried to call, write, and talk to your friend, you might be forced to step away for a bit (and that's okay). Your friend may take longer to move on from the situation than you. If you value the friendship and hope to be friends again one day, tell your friend that. Leave the lines of communication open so they feel they can initiate a conversation when they are ready. You might try saying, "I want you to know I am here when you are ready to talk about this," or "I'm sorry for the way things have turned out with us, but I still consider you a good friend and hope we can go back to being close. I am here whenever you want to call me."
At this point, you've done all you can do to reach out and try working towards a solution. If your friend still isn't talking to you because they're mad or not ready to move forward, all you can do is wait and be there for them when they're ready.